Gionee Elife S5.5 Hands On – Slim, Sturdy, Selfie Phone


The “world’s slimmest smartphone” – a title previously held by the 6.18 mm thin Huawei Ascend P6 – now belongs to the just-launched 5.5 mm thin Gionee Elife S5.5.

Gionee’s redesign doesn’t just focus on thin but also tough.

Oliver Sha (above), Head of Global Marketing at Gionee, walks the audience through the third generation Gorilla Glass 3 that makes up the front and back glass of the Gionee Elife S5.5.

Gionee launch host Giselle Sanchez and Gionee product ambassador Ellen Adarna (above) showing the audience sample selfie shots of the 5MP wide angle front camera. Before this, Ellen kept tossing her Elife S5.5 on stage, only to pick it up, toss it again, and later take a selfie.

Above is the Xiaomi Mi 3 (shiny plastic silver) that’s actually thicker and a bit longer and wider than the S5.5. The Elife S5.5 is only 5.5 mm thin but is, according to Gionee, made up of 98 percent of metal and glass. You can actually feel the dense, solid hardness in your hand.

The front camera is also a strong point for the S5.5. Gionee has two camera apps – one for “normal” shooting but with a very advanced manual mode and another called Charms Camera, one with various fun tweaks.

Above is the front camera taking a pic of JM Balicano (on the left) who is holding the S5.5 and me holding my LG G2 (the yellow colored-phone case). What you’re probably not noticing is how the front camera’s wide angle lens is wide enough to TAKE TWO PEOPLE IN THE FRAME. While the Huawei Ascend P7 may boast of a Panoramic Selfie feature, the Gionee Elife S5.5 can take in more people without having to swivel the front camera a lot.

At the risk of looking less manly for our reading audiences, JM and I are demonstrating above a “make up session” involving two faces just shot with the selfie camera – one of the many features of the Charms Camera.

Oh yeah, someone noticed that many people: (1) even though they’re right handed, pull their phones from their left pockets with their left hand; (2) when they’re right handed, pick up their phones, when on a flat surface, using their right hand. So it makes PERFECT SENSE IN BOTH SCENARIOS FOR THE POWER BUTTON TO BE ON THE LEFT SIDE.

And finally, the Super AMOLED display of the Gionee Elife S5.5 is gorgeous – blacks are deep and colors pop out.

And that’s our hands on review of the Gionee Elife S5.5, currently the world’s thinnest phone.

Left to right: Wendell Villamora (National Sales Manager – Belexis Concept Inc.), Beally Lee (Country Manager – Gionee Global), Yuan Dan (Product Director – Gionee Global), Oliver Sha (Marketing Director – Gionee Global), Ellen Adarna (Gionee Brand Endorser), Leslie Faye Gan (IT Sales Head – Belexis Concept Inc.), Michael Bangayan (President – Belexis Concept Inc.), and Giselle Sanchez (Host). 

You are encouraged to do your own hands on – so here’s a list of Gionee Smartphone Stores that you can visit.


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Irwin Allen Rivera loves his wife's cooking so much he's now twice the man he used to be. His English essay won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2012. His philosophical-horror story appeared in Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 (2013). He was managing editor and lead writer of Sites and Symbols 2 (2005), a coffee-table book about buildings in UP Diliman - his alma mater (BA Philosophy; MA Creative Writing continuing). He worked at the UP Diliman Information Office before shifting to web content writing. His sudden fiction, "Notwithstanding Pigs," initially a Friendster testimonial, appeared in Philippines Graphic (2006) and in Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (2007). He used to write for